TEGNA’s ‘Marketing Amidst a Movement’ series is dedicated to the minority-owned businesses we support across our markets, partners, and clients. We celebrate our partners’ resilience and determination and join in their commitment to building more diverse marketplaces across our communities. Part of our commitment includes a $100,000 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Historically and on average, brands in America steered clear from messaging on controversial topics. Many carefully avoided politics and sensitive issues like civil unrest, protests, and rioting. Today, in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officers, brands around the globe are shifting course, taking stands against racial inequality and systemic racism.
A new era of brand activism has begun and TEGNA Marketing Solutions is taking a sector by sector look at how this era is unfolding. In this installment of our ‘Marketing Amidst a Movement’ series, we take a look at the financial sector.
Citigroup Makes Heartfelt Statement
Citigroup is in a unique position to comment on the death of George Floyd, as the bank’s chief financial officer, Mark Mason, is one of the industries few Black senior officials. “I wanted to speak out in a way that highlighted the atrocities of this incident, that explained what black Americans are feeling and that gave some way for people to help,” Mason told Fortune.
Mason then posted a blog, where he shared his feelings and announced that he would be donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Advancement Project, and Color of Change and encouraged readers to do the same.
“These systemic problems will not go away until we confront them head on. So we must continue to speak up and speak out whenever we witness hatred, racism or injustice. I know I will – and I hope you will too,” the blog reads.
PayPal Leads Commits $530M to Black Business & Startups
PayPal has committed $500 million to help invest in the Black community, minority-owned businesses, and startups. This includes $10 million in grants to Black-owned businesses suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, as well as damage caused by civil unrest.
The company also announced it would be matching $2 for every $1 an employee donates to racial and economic justice efforts, and $10 for every hour an employee volunteers in these efforts.
“For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a company statement. “Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change. We must take decisive action to close the racial wealth gap that sustains this profound inequity.”
Bank of America’s Invests in Communities of Color
Bank of America pledged $1 billion to help fight economic and racial inequality. Over the next four years, the money will be invested in communities of color and minority-owned businesses in terms of health (Coronavirus testing, telemedicine), job training (reskilling, upskilling), support to small businesses, and housing.
Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in a company statement, “The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more.”
Today we are announcing a $1 billion / 4-year commitment to support economic opportunity initiatives to combat racial inequality accelerated by the global pandemic. Read more: https://t.co/Xrl4W8KRsM pic.twitter.com/N33u01fnNk
— Bank of America News (@BofA_News) June 2, 2020
Mastercard Declares Juneteenth a Holiday
Meanwhile, Mastercard declared June 19 a holiday in a memo to employees. Also known as Juneteenth and Freedom Day, the holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in Texas in 1865, despite the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery two years earlier.
In the memo, Mastercard encouraged employees to use the time off to pause and reflect on the issues. “While the date itself acknowledges a milestone in U.S. history, the sad fact is there’s work to do everywhere to combat racism and discrimination,” it states.
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